Karni Sena threatens to torch UK cinemas| MENAFN.COM

Thursday, 20 January 2022 11:25 GMT

Karni Sena threatens to torch UK cinemas

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) British film distributors are reconsidering the release of Bollywood film Padmavati after its production sparked threats, violence and protest in India over the mistaken belief that it insults a legendary 14th-century queen.
The film depicts the life of Padmini, a Hindu queen who immolates herself rather than fall prisoner to a conquering ruler. After baseless but persistent rumours that the film depicted Padmini in intimate love scenes with the king, there were protests, attacks on the set and director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and threats to mutilate lead actress Deepika Padukone who plays the role of the queen.
In the face of the ongoing controversy, the British distributor, Paramount Pictures, said the UK release date was being reviewed, amid reports that producers wanted to clarify the situation in India before making a decision abroad. It had been due to come out from December 1.
A London-based Hindu charity, Rajput Samaj of UK, declared its opposition to the British Board of Film Classification's (BBFC) decision to certify the film for release and said it would hold a peaceful protest over what it sees as a historically inaccurate account of Padmini.
It told the Guardian that it did not want the film to be released but emphasised that it was opposed to any violence and was not basing its protest on the inaccurate claims about the film's content.
The call from the charity for the film to lose its certification comes after a fringe rightwing group in India threatened violence if UK cinemas showed the film.
The release of the film was deferred indefinitely in India after protests by Hindu activists and death threats against the cast and director.
The charity told the BBFC: 'We understand that experts can judge the violence, language, and scene but we need to find the right historians who can watch the film and stop the character assassination of Indian icons.
The Hindu extremist group, Karni Sena, threatened to torch any British cinema that screened the film. India's Central Board of Film Certification is still considering whether to approve it.
However, the decision of the UK authorities to approve the film prompted a leader from Karni Sena to threaten to take their campaign to the UK.
'Every theatre screening Padmavati will be burned, Sukhdev Singh told the Mumbai-based Republic TV. I myself wanted to go (to the UK) to protest but the Indian government has confiscated my passport.
It is unlikely, however, that the Karni Sena, a fringe group in India, has members in the UK and Rajput Samaj of UK was keen to stress it did not back calls for violence.
On Friday a body was found hanging outside a fort in Rajasthan, along with a warning note mentioning the film that read: 'We don't burn effigies, we hang.
The Supreme Court agreed on Thursday to hear a petition next week asking that the film's UK release be banned. - Guardian News and Media


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